Northern Century

This weekend I am taking part in my second race on Gudge – The Northern Century race.

This is basically a double-handed 100 nautical mile race through (or around) the San Juan islands. My friend Phil (skippering his new boat Zaff) told me about it and the San Juans are my usual stomping grounds so I signed up! I’ll be doing it with Emma and sailing down Thursday to Decatur Island. The race starts Friday (18th) evening at 7:30pm preceded by an open bar(!) from 3pm to 6pm – I guess that’s how they roll down in the states! Currently there is a gale warning for Friday evening as well, just to make things even more terrifying interesting.

Not going to be a lack of wind, that’s for sure. I double checked my reefing system yesterday with my fancy-ass new MLX lines and reefing at the mast

There is a tracker at if you fancy following Gudge as we blunder around in a storm and get spanked by a San Juan 24 – I think it activates late Friday afternoon. Probably be racing until Sunday afternoon. The main aim is to finish this one unlike Swiftsure!

As you can see it starts in Anacortes, goes up alongside Orcas Island to Point Roberts, then back sound around Hein bank in the Juan de Fuca before heading back to Anacortes.

After this (and if the crew and the boat are still in one piece) we are going to spend a week cruising around the Southern Gulf islands for a much needed change of pace.




  1. Hi Matt,
    I recall you mentioning you had a downrigger install. I’m looking to do the same (after catching a Coho with my Mickey Mouse clip-on downrigger). Any chance you could do a posting on your setup?

    • Hey there,

      If you do a search for downrigger on the search box on the right there are bits and pieces scattered around – the first downrigger install is here
      The main problem is finding a location that allows clearance past the backstay/lifelines/BBQ/misc shit – but once you find a good location it’s pretty straightforward. If you can wait that long, there are often boxing day deals on electric downriggers (that’s when bought both of mine)

      Congrats on the coho!

  2. Have fun in your 2nd race. This should be a breeze for you experiences race sailors. As far as the San Juan 24 you should have an advantage in heavier winds and waves. Go take on the fleet with confidence and enjoy the trip.
    Remember if you think about reefing do it.

  3. If you really want to learn racing, try small boat one-design. You’ll learn more about sail control, balance, tactics in one season then a dozen in PHRF. Plus it’s much more exciting to know that who crosses the line first is actually the winner!

    • Hey Edward,

      Last couple of years I raced Martin 242s in a mixed fleet of 242s and TBirds. Not quite OD, but we had 4-5 martins per race!

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